When should you raise your rent? How much should you raise it? How can you communicate this increase to your tenants without chasing them away and creating vacancy and turnover costs for yourselves?
These are common landlord questions, and we have answers.
You own rental property because you want to make money. In order to make money, you need to maximize what your investment property earns.
Whether you’re re-listing a home after a tenant has moved out or considering where you’ll set your rent during a lease renewal period, we have some strategies for increasing rent that we know will work.
Here’s what we recommend.
Renovations to Increase Rent
When you want to increase the rental value of your property, you need to give tenants a good reason to pay more for your property.
Updates and improvements can accomplish this.
Unless your property has seriously deteriorated and is in terrible condition, you probably do not need to invest in a full rehab or renovation. You don’t have to re-do the kitchen entirely or add another bedroom. But, you can make some cost-effective upgrades that will bring in more money and attract better tenants.
The improvements you select will depend on your unique property. Here are some of the things to consider:
- Energy efficient appliances. If you’ve been called to repair your refrigerator more than once over the last year, maybe don’t keep fixing it. Instead, replace it. Choose an energy-efficient model that’s attractive and likely to last you for several years. If the entire kitchen is looking worn, consider updating all of the appliances. They don’t have to be stainless and they don’t have to be top-of-line. But, if you invest in a refresh and you use appliances that look and work great, you’ll easily be able to raise your rent and maximize your income.
- Fresh paint. Nothing makes a home look brighter like fresh paint. Invest in some good quality paint, and do full walls rather than touch-ups. This will make your property look newer and more modern, thus raising its rental value. Make sure you inspect the condition of the exterior paint as well. Is it looking faded?
- Hard surface flooring. There are so many good reasons to replace your carpet with tile, hardwoods, or laminate. Tenants prefer hard surface flooring. It’s easier to clean and maintain. It’s more durable than carpet. There are less allergens and health risks associated with hard floors. Most importantly, you can earn more in rent when you offer a rental home with less carpet and more hard surfaces. Some faux woods and other materials are available and cost-effective. They look great and tenants will love them.
- Updated landscaping. Make sure your curb appeal attracts good tenants and high rents. When you arrive at your property, does it look inviting and welcoming? Pay attention to the landscaping, the walkways, the parking area, and the lighting.
When you’re willing to invest in the way your Kansas City rental property looks and functions, you’re likely to earn more rent and have an easier time placing tenants.
Offer the Best Amenities
You’re not only trying to earn more on your property; you’re also trying to compete with all the other rentals available on the market.
Make sure you’re providing the amenities that tenants today want and need. This will allow you to increase your rental price. It will also contribute to retention.
Some of the amenities that are worth your investment include:
- In-unit laundry. Provide in-unit laundry when you rent out a Kansas City home. This is an amenity that will easily raise your rent and attract a pool of good tenants. No one wants to go to the Laundromat. No one wants to wait in line for a dryer to become available. This is an amenity that’s attention-grabbing and really good at increasing the value of your rental home.
- Security. Amenities that ensure your tenants feel safe and secure in their rental property will bring in higher rents. Always change the locks between tenants. Even if you collect all the copies of the key that you gave to your departing tenants, you don’t know if they shared keys with anyone. Beyond changing the locks, your tenants will look for amenities that make them feel safe. Video doorbells are extremely popular right now. Smart home security that allows them to sync their phones to the functions at their property, including alarm systems are also good investments that will drive up rents and appeal to renters.
- Strong internet. More than ever, tenants are working and schooling from home. Remote work is a trend that’s here to stay. So, your residents will need good technology and strong internet. These are amenities that boost your rental value. Even if you’re not providing internet services, make sure your property can handle a lot of bandwidth, and make recommendations on the best, fastest internet providers in the area.
Focus on amenities when you want your rental property to stand apart in the Kansas City rental market.
Allow Pets in Your Kansas City Investment Property
Pets are important to tenants. We understand that it can be risky, but with a strong pet policy in place, you can mitigate that risk.
- There’s a lower vacancy period when you rent out pet-friendly properties. You have a larger pool of tenants, so your home rents faster.
- You can require pet insurance and charge an extra deposit.
Create a pet policy that’s clear about how many pets you’ll allow, what sizes they can be, and how many tenants may move in with. The pet policy should include how you expect your tenants to care for and control their pets. Then, you can have a relatively low-risk tenancy with a lot of extra income because you’re renting out a pet-friendly home.
If you’re interested in customized recommendations on how to raise your rent and maximize what you’re earning, contact us at Key Partners Property Management. We’re your best Kansas City property management resource.